Responding to the ridicule of teachers and the teaching profession by politicians and self proclaimed "experts"!
"Where is Albert Shanker now that we need him?" - Walt Sautter

Friday, 25 September 2015

Allegiance To the People or the King?

Gov. Chris Christie has used his veto power more aggressively than any other New Jersey governor, rejecting more than 350 bills in five years in Trenton. His vetoes—from mundane bills related to fiscal matters to more controversial measures such as gun control—have never been overridden.  Lawmakers failed in all 48 attempts to override him with Republican sponsors of the bills and many of those who originally voted for the bills refusing to override his vetoes!
We must assume that the bills were considered to be in the best interests of the citizens of New Jersey by those who authorized them originally. Otherwise why would they have voted for them (many in overwhelming numbers) in the first place?
Then suddenly, when His Majesty vetoes them they are longer deemed beneficial to the citizenry? How could this be possible in all 48 override attempts?
It is seems that the majority of the Republicans in Trenton are not really interested in serving the people of the State but instead are solely absorbed with serving the interests of the king in the Governor's Office and his political ambitions. What has made the "lawmakers" in Trenton so meek, groveling and genuflecting and willing to serve the interests of one man over those of the people? 
Is it because our governor king has become New Jersey's spell casting Rasputin or the file hoarding J. Edgar? 
I can think of no other possibilities, can you?

Monday, 21 September 2015

The Pot and the Kettle

I just read the letter sent to the staff  by Rutgers President Richard Barchi regarding the RU football coach's (Kyle Flood) fine and suspension over an NCAA infraction. Here are some excerpts from that letter with the words that stood out underlined.
"Over the past three years, we have taken significant steps in establishing a strong compliance and oversight culture and organization on campus, including the creation of the Office of Enterprise Risk ManagementEthics and Compliance in 2013 that reports directly to me and to the Audit Committee of the Board of Governors."

"we have an obligation to provide outstanding educational opportunities, to ensure high quality and productive research, to serve the local, national and world communities, and to do so with integrity"

"to strengthen our programs in Ethics and Privacy.  Earlier this summer, that office recruited new expert leadership in each of these areas as well as a new Director of Ethics who brings to the University in-depth experience with the New Jersey State Ethics Commission"
Seeing the words "ethics" and "integrity" coming from Mr. Barchi in any context reminds me of something I wrote back in July of 2013. It also reminded me of the "the pot calling the kettle black" cliché.

Now, I certainly don't think Flood was right in doing what he did and he should be punished but then again should someone with Barchi's baggage be writing "Holier than thou" proclamations  about it? 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

I Have a "Conflict in Understanding" !

When I was elected to the BOE, I was required to give up a little part time job videoing the high school football games (which I had done for twenty years prior) because it was considered a "conflict of interest" and an "ethics violation"?
The "conflict of interest" was not $317,000. It amounted to about $800 per year !

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Trick (by "The Governor") and Treat (for his Buds)

The following two statements jump out at me. "the State Election Law Enforcement Commission, which by law, must include two Democrats and two Republications" and "Christie recently nominated a new member to the election commission but selected another Republican... The commission still has only one Democrat".
Essentially, what this means based on the judge's opinion, is the commission will be castrated hence forth by "The Governor's" appointment of a Republican. It can proceed against no elected officials suspected of illegal or unethical actions because it can never have a "quorum".
Beautiful for Governor Porkchop and his buds.
I guess I have to give him credit. He is a master of trickery and deceit.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

When It Comes to Sneaky - These Guys Never Disappoint

Mr. Christie (I really can't call him Governor Christie because he is never here acting as New Jersey's governor) should be privatized as soon as possible. I can't understand why an absentee public employee, involved with multiple, underhanded sleazy dealings by both him and his cronies has not been subjected to recall? 
I suppose the only answer is, having been a Federal Prosecutor, he has a pile of dirt on numerous politicians and others, tucked away in a file cabinet somewhere (J. Edgar style).
The only other possibility is the citizens and politicians of New Jersey are too stupid or lazy to "throw the bum out".

Want a list of "The Governor's" shenanigans. Here's a bunch I can think of right off the bat.

Bridgegate (of course)
Harrison Train Station (his brother's company benefited handsomely)
Hunterdon  County Sheriff's Office Investigation (he squashed it)
Exxon Mobile "Settlement?"
RU President on Boards of Trustees of companies doing business with RU (okay by Christie)
Pension "Reform" renege
PA Appointments (Samson et al)
Loss of $400M Fed Ed Funds (and put it all on Schindler) 
Canceled ARC Tunnel (cost jobs & money during the height of the recession)
Trips and Entertainment from "Friends" - Jones, Adelson, etc.
Held Special Elections ($24M) for his personal political advantage
Screwed up the Sandy Aid program and paid $30M to company that did it
Used Sandy Funds for political advertising

Friday, 11 September 2015

A Ticket to the Good Life???

I happened to notice the "U,S, Consumer Debt Profile" in the newspaper the other day (It is shown below). I calculated the monthly payments required for each debt and added a debt payment required for a car loan. 
It appears that the typical middle class person (a college graduate) will see $1710 regularly consumed from his monthly paycheck by these ongoing obligations. This will require a pretax income of $28,160 (assuming a federal tax bracket of 25% and not considering FICA, unemployment, pension, health care contributions and state tax withholdings). 
The average starting salary for a college graduate is $45,327. His salary in five years will be $50,044 (calculated at a compounded rate of 2% per year which is the typical rate of  salary increase). This leaves $16,413 after federal taxes but again not including the aforementioned withholdings. 
This is $1367 monthly or about $300 weekly left for retirement savings, child rearing, food, clothing, utilities, insurance, education and other essentials?

Some average tradesman salaries (and remember - no college debt and they have been earning during the four to six years while college students spend at school)

Plumbers -- averaging $52,390 per year.
Nonresidential construction workers averaged $48,330.
Brick layers $54,000.

Am I suggesting that students should abandon the idea of a college education? Not at all - but I am suggesting that it shouldn't necessarily be viewed as a "ticket to the good life" (with a gigantic price tag) as it once was! 

Thursday, 10 September 2015

And The Beat Goes On! (Our beating that is)

When you read the article below - don't be shocked! It's business as usual. I wrote about this very thing ( in 2012 and I guess nobody read it or nobody cared.
This was just after the much ballyhooed "Pension Reform Bill"(which "The Governor" reneged on and I think probably planned to right from the get go) was passed. Interestingly, not one word about the double dipping of cronies and the connected was in that bill. None of these inequities were even tangentially addressed.
During the time this bill was being discussed our "governor?" (I think he's still the governor in spite of the fact he's been out of the State over half of the time) was already campaigning for reelection. During this time he garnered support from numerous prominent New Jersey Democrats. If you would like to know who those Dems are and why they would jump ship and stand behind a loud mouthed, bullying oaf, the attached article and my post cited above may help to provide some of the answer.
Additionally, in 2011 there were 420,000 public employees in New Jersey. In the 2012 election Christie received 1,278,932 votes against Buono's 809,978. It's hard to understand how Buono could receive only 810K with 420K public workers with their friends and families voting with them for her?
The only conclusions that can be drawn is that few public employees actually voted or that they were actually stupid enough to vote against their own best interests and voted for Governor Porkchop. Either one of these explanations is disheartening to say the least.